Working with asbestos-containing materials might cause health problems that remain undetected for years. So, all employees receive training before carrying out work that may release asbestos fibres into the air. All three types of training cover basic information on asbestos. But some jobs will need more expertise and preparation. This article will help you identify the right level of training for your employees.
Asbestos is a term used to describe naturally occurring minerals banned in 1999. The substance became illegal when it became clear that inhaling asbestos dust is a health hazard. Working with asbestos-containing materials (ACM) carries a risk of developing lung cancer and other diseases. Exposing workers to asbestos without providing them with training is an offence.
All employers must follow the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 requirements. So, your employer is responsible for ensuring you receive adequate training on your work. To do that, all employers must determine what risks employees might encounter.
Asbestos training falls into three categories. Each category covers information on the risks of working with asbestos. Additionally, the training provides safety measures and guidance on reducing possible exposure. These categories are:
Keep reading to learn more about the three categories of asbestos training.
The Asbestos Awareness Training (or Cat A Asbestos Training) aims to help employees who might come in contact with asbestos. It explains the risk of exposure and how to avoid disturbing asbestos-containing materials.
Other information this training should cover are:
Asbestos Awareness Training is suitable for employees who do not directly work with asbestos. Examples of these professions include:
If this sounds like the level suitable for your employees, click here to access Asbestos Awareness Training on our website.
Non-licensed asbestos training (or Cat B Asbestos Training) provides more comprehensive information on asbestos than Category A.
This level of asbestos training is for employees who come in direct contact with asbestos. Employees that carry out non-licensed work must follow specific safety procedures. Cat B training explains the safety measures and will help minimise the asbestos exposure risk.
Cat B training focuses on jobs that involve direct contact or potential disturbance of asbestos. It also encompasses professions mentioned in the previous section. For instance, maintenance work might include regular painting of asbestos insulation boards. Providing the boards are in good condition, Cat B training would be adequate for this job.
The Category B training should cover information on the following:
Duty holders must report notifiable non-licensed work to a local building control body. Workers involved in non-licensed work must complete category B training. Cat B training includes additional information on the risks associated with notifiable work.
An employer must decide whether work is ‘notifiable’ by conducting a thorough risk assessment. The assessment should note all relevant materials and their condition. To learn more about carrying out a risk assessment, read How to do a Risk Assessment, which includes a free downloadable risk assessment template.
Consider our online risk assessment training course if you are looking for appropriate training.
Cat C asbestos training is the highest level of training. It guides high-risk work with ACMs that a licensed contractor must carry out. It is an offence to undertake licensable tasks without a granted license. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), high-risk work must fulfil one of the following criteria:
Examples of licensable work include:
This training covers the same information as in Category B but more in-depth. It also includes advice on on-site inspections, safe removal techniques, and decontamination. In addition to theoretical training, employees must pass a practical knowledge test.
Read our 10 FAQ Asbestos Training answers for information. You will learn how often you should do asbestos training and how long a training certificate lasts.
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